Overview of our company, the best of its kind.

Privacy Policy

1. Introduction AOSIS (Pty) Ltd has formulated this privacy statement in order to demonstrate its firm commitment to the privacy of its users. AOSIS (Pty) Ltd reserves the right to change these policies at any time and to publish the new terms on this website. Readers are advised to review the latest policies.

The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for the AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites:

2. Personal Information
Personal information refers to all information about you as an identifiable individual, including (but not limited to) your name, address, email address, telephone number, and identity number. Visitors using the products and services of AOSIS (Pty) Ltd may be asked to fill out a questionnaire as part of the user registration process. Registrants' information will be utilised to refine and improve the content and services of AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. The information provided will not be sold or redistributed to third parties without the explicit permission of the user, unless obliged to do so by law or legal processes.

3. Use of Personal Information
The aggregated demographic information allows us to verify the types of professionals who use AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services. Registrants will also have the opportunity to receive email updates of what is new in terms of AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services, should they indicate so at the end of the registration process. At this point of collection the user will also have the opportunity to indicate whether he or she would like to "opt out" of receiving promotional and/or marketing information about other products, services and offerings from AOSIS (Pty) Ltd and/or any third parties.

Further, notwithstanding any “opt out” option of promotional information by the user, AOSIS (Pty) Ltd reserves the right to contact a subscriber regarding account status, changes to the subscriber agreement and other matters relevant to the underlying service and/or the information collected.

AOSIS (Pty) Ltd reserves the right to perform statistical analyses of user behaviour and characteristics in order to measure interest in and use of the various areas of the site, and to inform advertisers of such information as well as the number of users that have been exposed to or clicked on their advertising banners. AOSIS (Pty) Ltd will provide only aggregated data from these analyses to third parties.

In addition, users should be aware that AOSIS (Pty) Ltd might sometimes permit third parties to offer subscription and/or registration-based services through the AOSIS (Pty) Ltd sites. AOSIS (Pty) Ltd is not responsible for any actions or policies of such third parties, and users should check the applicable privacy policy of such party when providing personally identifiable information.

Users should be aware that when they voluntarily disclose personally identifiable information (e.g. user name and email address) on the bulletin boards or in the forums or chat areas of the AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites, that information, along with any substantive information disclosed in the user's communication, can be collected and correlated and used by third parties and may result in unsolicited messages from other posters or third parties. Such activities are beyond the control of AOSIS (Pty) Ltd.

Upon request AOSIS (Pty) Ltd will allow any user to "opt out" of further promotional contacts at any time.

4. Cookies
As soon as a user visits AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites, a "cookie" is placed within his or her web browser. "Cookies" are small text files that AOSIS uses to recognise users, facilitate the user's on-going access to and use of the site, and allow a site to track usage behaviour and compile aggregate data that will allow content improvements and targeted advertising. Cookies are not programs that come onto a user's system and damage files. AOSIS’ cookies work by assigning a unique number to the user that has no meaning outside of our websites. This cookie poses no security risk and cannot harm your computer in any way; its purpose is to allow access to the AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites without the need to input a user name and password each time. However, users should remember their password, as they will be prompted to use it when they access the AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites from a different computer or browser. Furthermore, users who have configured their browser not to accept cookies will not be able to log in to AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services.

5. Links
The AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites contain extensive links to external sites. AOSIS (Pty) Ltd is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such external sites. Users are advised to review the policies of such sites before they disclose any personal information on those sites.

6. Data Profiles
If you want to update any of your personal information held by us, you can either make certain changes online by amending your account details (if enabled), or you can send an email detailing the required amendments to info(AT)aosis.co.za.

Furthermore, upon a user's request AOSIS (Pty) Ltd will use commercially reasonable methods to functionally delete the user and his or her personal information from its database; however, it may be impossible to delete a user's entry without some residual information because of backups and records of deletions. If you wish your details to be deleted from our database, then please send an email to us at info(AT)aosis.co.za stating just that.

7. IP Addresses
Every time you connect to our website we store web server logs which show your IP address (the unique number which your machine uses when it is connected to the Internet); what you looked at; whether the page request was successful or not; and which browser you used to view the pages. The use of this data is strictly for statistical and personalisation purposes only. This helps us understand which areas of the site are of particular interest and also which pages are not being requested. It also tells us how many hits and page requests we receive.

8. Feedback and Complaints
If you have any questions or comments about our Privacy Policy, or if you have a complaint about how we are using your data, please write to us or send an email to info(AT)aosis.co.za or contact us on 086 1000 381 or +27 21 975 2602.

9. Secure internet shopping by credit card
There are no fees associated with registering or browsing the AOSIS (Pty) Ltd products and services sites, but users are required to pay a service fee for:
  • Enrolment for courses and issuing of CPD certificates
  • Ordering print copies of journals or books

AOSIS (Pty) Ltd is registered as a card-accepting merchant with ABSA and uses Virtual Card Services (http://www.vcs.co.za/) to process credit card purchases.

AOSIS (Pty) Ltd DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CARD HOLDERS’ CREDIT CARD DETAILS – AOSIS (Pty) Ltd DOES NOT KEEP OR STORE YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS.
To view the privacy policy of Virtual Card Services (Pty) Ltd click here.

10. Browser security
It is the user's responsibility to keep his or her Internet browser up to date in order to ensure that the latest security technology is available to him or her. For more information please contact us to assist you in obtaining the latest version of either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

11. Children’s Privacy
AOSIS does not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 16 and does not target its websites to children under 16. We encourage parents and guardians to take an active role in their children’s online activities and interests.

Our privacy policy is just one facet of our commitment to reliable and ethical information. Please also see our advertising, editorial and terms of use policies.

Publication policies

1. Copyright and Licensing

1.1 Copyright

The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.
 
 

1.2 Protecting intellectual property

The author(s) are exclusively responsible for acknowledging third-party copyright. In addition, the editor(s), AOSIS and title owner of each journal or book accept no responsibility for any statement made or opinion expressed in authored works published in an AOSIS journal or book and hence cannot accept responsibility for the infringement of third-party copyright.

 

 

1.3. Publication licensing

Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose.
 
AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Read more here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

AOSIS requires scholarly book authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. Read more here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

Literary works, works of fiction and technical reports may however be published behind a paywall and under a different and more suitable publication licence.
 
 

2. Authors

 

2.1 Criteria for publication

To publish with AOSIS the work should generally meet four criteria:
  • Provide strong evidence for its conclusions.
  • Be important to scientists in the specific field.
  • Ideally, be interesting to researchers in other related disciplines.
  • Represent an advance in understanding, or provide support for an evolving understanding that is likely to influence thinking in the field.
 
 

2.2 Corresponding author

Groups of authors must decide on a corresponding author who acts on behalf of all the authors during the submission, review and publication processes. The corresponding author must submit the manuscript, related files and all required information to AOSIS. From submission to publication, all communication related to the manuscript will be directed to, and received from, the corresponding author only.
 
Before submission, the corresponding author must ensure that all authors are:
  • included in the author list;
  • appear in an agreed order; and
  • are aware of the manuscript’s submission, having approved the final version.

After acceptance, a proof is sent to the corresponding author, who circulates it to all co-authors and deals with AOSIS on their behalf. AOSIS will not necessarily correct errors after publication if they result from errors that were present on a proof that was not shown to co-authors before publication. The corresponding author is responsible for the accuracy of all content in the proof, in particular that names of co-authors are present and spelled correctly, and that addresses and affiliations are current.
 
AOSIS also regards the corresponding author as the point of contact for queries about the published work. It is this author's responsibility to inform all co-authors of matters arising from the published work and to ensure that such matters are dealt with promptly.
 
AOSIS and its editors treat the submitted manuscripts and all communication with authors and reviewers as confidential. Authors must also treat communication with AOSIS as confidential: correspondence with the publisher, reviewers' reports and other confidential material must not be posted on any website or otherwise publicised without permission from AOSIS or editors, whether the submission is eventually published or not.
 
 

2.3 Multi-group collaborations

AOSIS assumes that at least one member of each collaboration, usually the most senior member of each submitting group or team, has accepted responsibility for the contributions to the manuscript from that team.
 
This responsibility includes, but is not limited to:
  • ensuring that original data upon which the submission is based are preserved and retrievable for re-analysis;
  • approving data presentation as representative of the original data; and
  • forseeing and minimising obstacles to the sharing of data, materials, algorithms or reagents described in the work.
 
 

2.4 Authorship

Authors should take collective responsibility for submitted and published work. The research literature serves as a record of both what was discovered and who discovered it. The authorship of a research publication should therefore accurately reflect individuals’ contributions to the work and its reporting. All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship and be listed.
 
It is generally accepted that individuals are entitled to authorship of a manuscript when they meet all these criteria:
  • Made a substantial contribution to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Drafted the manuscript or critically revised it for important intellectual content;
  • Approved the final version to be published.
 
Only acquiring funding, collecting data, or generally supervising the research group do not justify authorship.
 
If a multi-authored publication draws substantially from a student’s dissertation or thesis then that student should preferably be listed as the principal author.
 
Likewise, the supervisor of such a student should be involved as co-author. If they explicitly decline any of the implied co-author responsibilities, their role must be outlined in ‘acknowledgements’ and they must be informed to avoid any misunderstandings.
 
Contributions that do not meet authorship criteria should be mentioned in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the manuscript. This includes the involvement of a professional writer.
 
 

2.5 Author contributions/affiliations

Authors who collaborated on published work share a degree of responsibility for all or part of the work. Each author should have participated in the work enough to take public responsibility for its content.

The affiliations of authors must reflect their situation during the funding, conducting and completion of the research, i.e. where the research was carried out. If an author has changed affiliation since the completion of the research, the author’s first affiliation must still reflect the institution where the research was conducted, supported and funded.

Authors are required to include a statement in the manuscript that specifies the contribution of every author. The level of detail varies: some disciplines produce manuscripts where different contributions are explicit, while in other fields authors work as a group throughout.

A paragraph briefly summarising the nature of the contributions made by each of the authors listed should be along the lines of the following example:
 
J.K. was the project leader, L.M.N. and A.B. were responsible for experimental and project design. L.M.N. performed most of the experiments. P.R. made conceptual contributions, while S.T., U.V. and C.D. also performed some of the experiments. S.M. and V.C. prepared the samples, and calculations were performed by C.S. J.K. and U.V. co-wrote the manuscript.
 
Requests for changes in the list of authors or their affiliations on a manuscript after initial submission, or after publication, will be subject to the guidelines as prescribed by the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts) to resolve the matter. This implies that all initially listed authors need to agree on any such changes in writing.
 
 

2.6 Appeals

Authors have a right to appeal editorial decisions. Our scientific journal/book editors have mechanisms for authors to appeal peer-review decisions.
The editor shall mediate all exchanges between authors and peer reviewers during the peer-review process, i.e. prior to publication. If agreement cannot be reached, editors may invite comments from additional peer reviewer(s) if they feel that this would help. The editor's decision following such an appeal is final.
 
 

2.7 Referee suggestions

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable independent reviewers when they submit their manuscripts, but these suggested reviewers may not be used to review their manuscript at AOSIS. Authors may also request AOSIS to exclude a few (usually not more than two) individuals or laboratories. AOSIS and its editors shall consider such exclusion requests sympathetically and usually honour them, but the editor's decision on the choice of peer reviewers is final.
 
 

2.8 Competing interests

Any relevant competing interests of authors must be available to editors during the review process and must be declared by authors in the published work. Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author's institution) has financial or personal relationships with other persons or organisations that inappropriately influence (bias) their opinions or actions. [Modified from: Davidoff F, et al. Sponsorship, Authorship, and Accountability. (Editorial), JAMA 2001;286(10).]

Authors must declare:
  • all sources of research funding, including direct and indirect financial support, supply of equipment or materials, or other forms of conflict of interest, which may have prevented them from executing and publishing unbiased research;
  • the role of the research funder(s) or sponsor (if any) in the research design, execution, analysis, interpretation and reporting; and
  • any other relevant financial and non-financial interests and relationships that might be considered likely to affect the interpretation of their findings or which editors, reviewers or readers might reasonably wish to know. This includes any relationship to the book/journal (for example, if editors wish to publish their own research in their own work).
 
 

2.9 Publication fees

Our authors and readers enjoy the advantages of open access. We believe that open access promotes accessibility and scientific uptake worldwide, serving the best interests of the professional and scientific communities and the public at large.

Since no fees are charged for access to articles, AOSIS offsets publication expenses – including those of peer review management, journal production and online hosting and archiving – by charging a publication fee, also known as an Article Processing Charge (APC), to authors, institutions or funders for each article published.

The APC for each journal is published on the journal website (if applicable). The authors remains ultimately responsible for the payment of the APC (if applicable), even if the responsibility for the payment has been transferred by them to a third party (e.g. institution of funder). In the event that the article is retracted by the authors after acceptance, they shall be liable for all costs incurred by AOSIS up to the point of retraction.

Authors are encouraged to contact their institution, funder or the Editor-in-Chief of the journal for more details of possible APC funding opportunities. Possibilities are: covering APC in the research grant, utilizing the open access funds of the institution, or a direct APC waiver by the publisher. If the APC was formally waived by the publisher, the authors will not be held responsible for any APC.

AOSIS publication decisions ultimately are based solely on editorial and scientific criteria and are completely independent of APC payments.

Invoicing and payment

The final APC is derived from an estimated A4 PDF page count, based on the manuscript word count, and no changes will be made after invoicing. APC will be invoiced once a manuscript has received editorial acceptance in principle, following peer review. Only one invoice shall be issued per article (no splitting of invoices) in order to expedite publication and keep costs to a minimum. The APC is due within 30 days from invoicing. Payment can be made by Credit Card and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The article will only be published once full payment has been received. If payment is done by EFT from a non-South African bank account, the author will be responsible for any bank transfer charges at the time of the transaction. In all cases, a receipt will be sent by email once payment has been received.

Galley Change Fees (GCF)

​Authors will be given the opportunity to revise and approve the text of the accepted manuscript in the final phase of copy-editing. After author approval the manuscript will go to design layout. The author will be asked to proofread the final galleys before going to publishing. Proofreading is intended to correct typesetting mistakes and not to introduce new changes to the text; such changes will require new layout of the pages. If new changes are introduced in this final proofreading stage, the publisher will charge Galley Change Fees (GFC) to the author, based on the cost incurred to make such changes.  
 

3. Correcting the record

AOSIS is committed to preserving the historical accuracy of all its publications. In principle, no published work should be altered or removed from the print or electronic AOSIS platforms after it has been published.

AOSIS considers the online version of an article/manuscript/work published as the final and complete version. Even though it may be possible to correct this version, the policy is not to do so, except in very specific circumstances. The editors will make the final decision whether to correct a published work.
 
Authors of published works must inform AOSIS promptly if they become aware of work needing correcting. Any correction requires the consent of all co-authors, so time is saved if requests for corrections are accompanied by a signed agreement by all authors. In cases where one or some authors do not agree with the correction statement, the coordinating author must provide the correspondence to and from the dissenting author(s).
               
 

3.1 Errata

An erratum is a correction of an important error (one that affects the publication record, the scientific integrity of the work, or the reputation of the authors or of the work) that has been introduced during the production of the work, including errors of omission such as failure to make factual proof corrections requested by authors within the deadline provided by AOSIS and within the AOSIS policy.
 
Errata for typing or grammatical errors will not be published, except where an apparently simple error is significant (for example, an incorrect unit). A significant error in a figure or table is corrected by publication of a new corrected figure or table as an erratum only if the editor considers this necessary for a reader to understand it.
 
 

3.2 Corrigenda

A corrigendum is a correction of an important error made by the authors of the work. Corrigenda are judged on their relevance to readers and their importance for the published record. Corrigenda are published after discussion among the editors, often with the help of peer reviewers.
 
All co-authors must sign an agreed wording for the corrigendum. Corrigenda submitted by the original authors are published if the scientific accuracy or reproducibility of the original work is compromised; occasionally, on investigation by the editors, these may be published as retractions.
 
In cases where some co-authors decline to sign a corrigendum or retraction AOSIS, in consultation with the editors, reserves the right to publish it with the dissenting author(s) identified. AOSIS may publish a corrigendum if there is an error in the published author list, but not for overlooked acknowledgements.
 
 

3.3 Addenda

An addendum is a notification of a peer-reviewed addition of information to work (for example, in response to a reader's request for clarification). Addenda should not contradict the original publication, but if the author inadvertently omitted significant information available at the time, this material can be published as an addendum after peer review and after discussion among the editors.

Addenda are published rarely and only when the editors decide that the addendum is crucial to the readers’ understanding of a significant part of the published contribution.
 
 

3.4 Retractions

A retraction may be made with respect to invalid results, when the conclusions of a work are seriously undermined as a result of honest miscalculation or error.
 
A retraction may also be made as a sanction applied to scientific misconduct, such as a serious infringement of publishing ethics or a breach of author warranties, which can include breaches of third-party copyright. Infringements of publication ethics may include multiple submissions, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, and fraudulent use of data.
 
All co-authors will be asked to agree to a retraction. In cases where some co-authors decline to sign a retraction, AOSIS in consultation with the editors reserves the right to publish the retraction with reference to the dissension among authors.
 
Retracted work will be clearly indicated and bear a ‘retracted’ watermark throughout. However, in rare circumstances it may be necessary to remove work completely from the online location. This will occur only where the published work infringes on others' legal rights, or is clearly defamatory, or where the work is (or clearly may be) the subject of a court order, or where the work’s information might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while some of the metadata will be retained online, the text will be replaced with a notice that the content has been removed for valid reasons.
 
 

3.5 Expression of concern

If conclusive evidence about the reliability or integrity of a published work cannot be obtained, e.g. if authors produce conflicting accounts of the case, or authors’ institutions refuse to investigate alleged misconduct or to release the findings of such investigations, or if investigations appear not to have been carried out fairly or are taking an unreasonably long time to reach a conclusion, then the editor may issue an expression of concern rather than retracting the publication immediately.
 
Such expressions of concern, like retraction notices, shall be clearly linked to the original publication, i.e. in electronic databases and by including the author and title of the original publication as a heading, and shall state the reasons for the concern. If more conclusive evidence about the publication’s reliability becomes available later, the expression of concern shall be replaced by a notice of retraction (if the article is shown to be unreliable) or by an exonerating statement linked to the expression of concern (if the article is shown to be reliable and the author is exonerated).
 
 

3.6 Publishing corrections

Corrections will be done in the following manner:
  • The title will include the words 'Erratum', ‘Corrigendum’, Addendum’, 'Retraction', or ‘Expression of concern’, as applicable.
  • It will be published as a separate document, with a unique DOI, and be included in the work’s table of contents.
  • It will cite the original publication.
  • It will enable the reader to identify and understand the correction in the context of the errors made, or explain why the work is being corrected, or explain the editor's concerns about the contents of the work.
  • It will be linked electronically with the original electronic publication, wherever possible.
  • It will be in a form that enables indexing and abstracting services to identify and link corrections to their original publications.
 
 
 

3.7 CrossMark®

CrossMark is a multi-publisher initiative that provides a standard way for readers to locate the authoritative version of a published work. It is AOSIS’s highest priority to maintain trust in the authority of its electronic archive, recognising the importance of the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record to researchers and librarians.
Clicking on the CrossMark icon will inform the reader of the current status of a published work and may also provide additional publication record information about the document.
The AOSIS content that will have the CrossMark logo is restricted to current and future journal content and is limited to specific publication types.
Please also read our correction policy and author guidelines.
 
 

4. Peer review

 

4.1 General Policy

AOSIS supports peer review, since it allows research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts who work within the same academic field as the authors. It also helps to improve manuscripts and allows the editor to assess a work’s suitability for publication.

The following types of contributions to AOSIS are specifically peer reviewed:
  • Original research
  • Review articles
  • Case studies
  • Research letters
  • Monographs
  • Collections of essays
  • Conference proceedings.

Other works published outside these categories, particularly if they present technical information, may be peer reviewed at the discretion of the editors.
 
 

4.2 The review process

The peer review of scholarly journals functions on the basis that the manuscript is initially examined by editorial staff and, if selected, is sent by the Editor-in-Chief to two expert independent reviewers for formal review, either directly or by a Section Editor. Each journal’s policy may vary slightly, so we encourage readers to visit journal portfolio for a list of our journals to assist in finding the applicable policy.

The peer review of scholarly books functions on the basis of a chief editor (for scholarly books) supported by international Domain Editorial Boards (DEBs) and expert review panels appointed by the chief editor in consultation with the relevant DEB. View our our books’ editorial policy.

To save time for authors and peer reviewers, only work that seems most likely to meet our editorial criteria is sent for formal review. Those manuscripts judged by the editors to be of insufficient interest or otherwise inappropriate for AOSIS are rejected (desk rejected) promptly without external review. These decisions may also be based on advice from specialists in the field.

Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers but sometimes more if special advice is needed. The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from among several possibilities:
  • Accept submission with or without editorial revisions.
  • Invite author revision – addressing specific concerns before a final decision is reached.
  • Reject – but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission.
  • Reject outright – typically on the grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Reviewers are required to recommend a particular course of action, but should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular manuscript may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information upon which a decision should be based, setting out the arguments for and against publication.

Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the scientific community at large, and in deciding how best to serve them we must weigh the claims of each manuscript against the many others also under consideration.

We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. We therefore ask that reviewers should be willing to provide follow-up advice as requested. We are very aware, however, that reviewers are usually reluctant to be drawn into prolonged disputes, so we try to keep consultation to the minimum as we judge necessary to provide a fair hearing for the authors.

When reviewers agree to assess a manuscript we consider this a commitment to review subsequent revisions. However, editors will not send a resubmitted manuscript back to the reviewers if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the criticisms.

We take reviewers' criticisms seriously. In particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. In cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, we may consult the other reviewers as to whether the opposing reviewer is applying an unduly high critical standard. We occasionally bring in additional reviewers to resolve disputes, but prefer to avoid doing so unless there is a specific issue, e.g. a specialist technical point, on which we feel the need to obtain further advice.
 
 

4.3 Selecting peer reviewers

Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics. For instance, we avoid using people who are slow, careless, or do not provide reasoning for their views, whether harsh or lenient.

We check with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that these messages contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.

AOSIS works on the basis that our editors should:
  • establish and maintain a database of suitably qualified peer reviewers for their journal;
  • monitor the performance of peer reviewers/editorial board members, recording the quality and timeliness of their reviews;
  • ignore rude, defamatory peer reviews. Peer reviewers who repeatedly produce poor-quality, tardy, abusive or unconstructive reviews should not be used again;
  • encourage peer reviewers to identify any conflict of interest with the material they are being asked to review. In this situation peer reviewers should decline invitations requesting peer review where any circumstances might prevent them from producing a fair peer review.
  • take note of the peer reviewers suggested by authors, but without considering such suggestions as binding.
  • request that peer reviewers who delegate peer review to members of their staff inform the editor when this occurs, as peer review is a confidential process.
 
 

4.4 Writing the review

The primary purpose of the review is to provide the editors with the information needed to reach a decision. The review should also instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their manuscript to the point where it may be acceptable. As far as possible a negative review should explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that rejected authors can understand the basis for the decision and see in broad terms what needs to be done to improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere. This is secondary to the other functions, however, and referees should not feel obliged to provide detailed, constructive advice to authors of manuscripts that do not meet the criteria for the book/journal (as outlined in the letter from the editor when asking for the review). If the reviewer believes that a manuscript would not be suitable for publication, their report to the author should be as brief as is consistent with enabling the author to understand the reason for the decision.

Confidential comments to the editor are welcome, but it is helpful if the main points are stated in the comments for transmission to the authors. The ideal review should answer the following questions:
  • Who will be interested in reading the work, and why?
  • What are the main claims/conclusions of the work and how significant are they?
  • How does the work stand out from others in its field?
  • Are the claims novel, or in support of emerging knowledge in the field?
  • Are the claims/conclusions convincing? If not, what further evidence is needed?
  • Are there other experiments or work that would strengthen the manuscript further?
  • How much would further work improve it, and how difficult would this be? Would it take a long time?
  • Are the claims appropriately discussed in the context of previous literature?
  • If the manuscript is unacceptable, is the study sufficiently promising to encourage the authors to resubmit?
  • If the manuscript is unacceptable but promising, what specific work is needed to make it acceptable?
  • Are there any special ethical concerns arising from the use of human or animal subjects?

We appreciate that reviewers are busy, and are very grateful if they can answer the questions in the section above. If time is available it is extremely helpful to the editors if reviewers can also advise on some of the following points:
  • Is the manuscript clearly written?
  • If not, how could it be made more clear or accessible to non-specialists?
  • Would readers outside the discipline benefit from a schematic of the main result to accompany publication?
  • Should the authors be asked to provide supplementary methods or data to accompany the manuscript online? (Such data might include source code for modelling studies, detailed experimental protocols or mathematical derivations.)
  • Have the authors done themselves justice without overselling their claims?
  • Have they been fair in their treatment of previous literature?
  • Have they provided sufficient methodological detail that the experiments could be reproduced?
  • Is the statistical analysis of the data sound, and does it conform to the book/journal 's guidelines?
  • Are the reagents (if applicable) generally available?
 
 

4.5 Timing of reviews

AOSIS is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication, and we believe that an efficient editorial process is a valuable service both to our authors and to the scientific community as a whole. We therefore ask reviewers to respond promptly within the number of days agreed. If reviewers anticipate a longer delay than previously expected, we ask them to let us know so that we can keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternatives.

Editors should aim to ensure timely peer review and publication for manuscripts they receive, especially where – to the extent that this can be predicted – findings may have important implications. Authors should be aware that priority publication is most likely for manuscripts that, as judged by the book/journal's editorial staff, may have important implications. The timing of publication may also be influenced by themed issues or if editors group submissions on a similar topic; this inevitably prevents articles from being published in the order in which they were accepted.
 
 

4.6 Anonymity

AOSIS does not release reviewers' identities to authors or to other reviewers, except when reviewers specifically ask to be identified. However, unless they feel strongly, we prefer that reviewers should remain anonymous throughout the review process and beyond. Before revealing their identities, reviewers should consider the possibility that they may be asked to comment on the criticisms of other reviewers and on further revisions of the manuscript. Identified reviewers may find it more difficult to be objective in such circumstances.

We ask reviewers not to identify themselves to authors without the editor's knowledge. If they wish to reveal their identities while the manuscript is under consideration, this should be done via the editor or, if this is not practical, we ask authors to inform the editor as soon as possible after the reviewer has revealed their identity to the author.

We deplore any attempt by authors to confront reviewers or determine their identities. Our own policy is to neither confirm nor deny any speculation about reviewers' identities, and we encourage reviewers to adopt a similar policy.
 
 

4.7 Editing reviewers’ reports

As a matter of policy we do not suppress reviewers' reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content. On occasion we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments that reveal confidential information about other matters, or to make the report more understandable. We ask reviewers to avoid statements that may cause needless offence; conversely, we strongly encourage reviewers to state plainly their opinion of a manuscript. Authors should recognise that criticisms are not necessarily unfair simply because they are expressed in robust language.
 
 

4.8 Ethics and security

AOSIS’s editors may seek advice about submitted manuscripts not only from technical reviewers but also on any aspect of a manuscript that raises concerns. These may include, for example, ethical issues or issues of data or materials access.

Very occasionally concerns may also relate to the implications to society of publishing a manuscript, including threats to security. In such circumstances advice will usually be sought simultaneously with the technical peer-review process. As in all publishing decisions, the ultimate decision whether to publish is the responsibility of the editor of the book/journal concerned.

If discussions between an author, editor and peer reviewer have taken place in confidence, they should remain in confidence unless explicit consent has been given by all parties or there are exceptional circumstances.

Editors or board members will never be involved in editorial decisions about their own work.

Editors, members of editorial boards and other editorial staff (including peer reviewers) should withdraw from discussions about submissions where any circumstances might prevent them from offering unbiased editorial decisions.
 
 

4.9 Editorial independence

Editorial independence should be respected. Owners (both learned societies and universities) should not interfere with editorial decisions. Decisions by editors about whether to publish individual items submitted to AOSIS should not be influenced by pressure from the editor's employer, the journal owner or the publisher.
 
 

4.10 Intellectual property

Authors are entitled to expect that peer reviewers or other individuals privy to the work of an author who submits to AOSIS will not steal their research ideas or plagiarise their work.

AOSIS’s guidelines to peer reviewers are clear about their roles and responsibilities. In particular the need to treat submitted material in confidence until it has been published. Furthermore, AOSIS expects peer reviewers to destroy submitted manuscripts after they have reviewed them.

Editors should expect allegations of theft or plagiarism to be substantiated, but should treat allegations of theft or plagiarism seriously.
 

5. Ethics

AOSIS trusts its editors, who in turn trust peer reviewers to provide fair assessments, and authors trust editors to select appropriate peer reviewers, and readers put their trust in the peer-review process. Academic publishing also occurs in an environment of powerful intellectual, financial, and sometimes political interests that may collide or compete.
 
 

5.1 Ideas and expression

Our editors and readers have a right to expect that submitted work is the author's own, that it has not been plagiarised, i.e. taken from other authors without permission where required, and that copyright has not been breached, e.g. if figures or tables are reproduced.

 
 

5.2 Ethical obligations

AOSIS expects authors to maintain the highest ethical standards when conducting research and in the publication process. The following principles, which are not an exhaustive list, should apply:
 

5.2.1 Soundness and reliability

The research being reported should:
  • be conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and follow all relevant legislation;
  • be sound and carefully executed; and
  • use appropriate methods of data analysis and display.

The authors should:
  • check their manuscripts carefully at all stages to ensure that methods and findings are reported accurately; and
  • carefully check calculations, data presentations, typescripts/submissions and proofs.
 

5.2.2 Honesty

Researchers should:
  • present their results honestly and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation;
  • present research images, e.g. micrographs, X-rays, pictures of electrophoresis gels, without them being modified in a misleading way;
  • follow applicable reporting guidelines;
  • provide sufficient detail and describe their methods clearly and unambiguously and with reference to public sources of information, in order to permit others to repeat the work and confirm the findings. Data should always be reported accurately and never be manipulated, with any problematic data also treated accordingly;
  • present reports of complete research. They should not omit inconvenient, inconsistent or inexplicable findings or results that do not support the authors’ or sponsors’ hypothesis or interpretation;
  • alert the editor promptly if they discover an error in any submitted, accepted or published work. Authors should cooperate with editors in issuing corrections or retractions when required;
  • represent the work of others accurately in citations and quotations;
  • not copy references from other publications if they have not read the cited work; and
  • identify any hazards inherent in conducting the research.

Special notes:
  • Researchers should not enter agreements that permit the research sponsor to veto or control the publication of the findings (unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as research classified by governments because of security implications).
  • If investigations have involved animals or human subjects, authors should provide all the statements required by the book/journal in order to prove that the experimental protocols were approved appropriately and that they meet all the guidelines of the agency involved, including obtaining informed consent where required.
  • Information obtained privately should not be used without the explicit permission of the individuals from whom it was obtained, and appropriate letters confirming permission to include this information must be acquired.
 

5.2.3 Balance

Researchers should:
  • present new findings in the context of previous research. The work of others should be fairly represented. Scholarly reviews and syntheses of existing research should be complete, balanced, and should include findings regardless of whether they support the hypothesis or interpretation being proposed. Editorials or opinion pieces presenting a single viewpoint or argument should be clearly distinguished from scholarly reviews;
  • address study limitations in their manuscript; and
  • avoid criticisms of a personal nature, although well-supported criticism of a piece of work is always welcomed.
 

5.2.4 Originality

Researchers should:
  • adhere to the accepted publication requirements that submitted work should be original and has not been published elsewhere in any language without express citation and acknowledgement of the previously published work;
  • adhere to and follow all applicable copyright laws and conventions. Copyright material, e.g. tables, figures or extensive quotations, should be reproduced only with appropriate permission and acknowledgement;
  • properly acknowledge and reference relevant previous work and publications, both by other researchers and the authors’ own. The primary literature should be cited where possible;
  • properly acknowledge data, text, figures or ideas originated by other researchers, and these should not be presented as if they were the authors’ own work. Original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations;
  • inform editors if findings have been published previously or if multiple reports or multiple analyses of a single data set are under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors should provide copies of related publications or work submitted to other books/journals; and
  • not claim originality if others have already reported similar work in part or as a whole, and credit should always be given to the work and findings of others that have led to their findings or influenced them in some way.

Special notes:
  • Multiple publications arising from a single research project should be clearly identified as such and the primary publication should be referenced. Translations and adaptations for different audiences should be clearly identified as such, should acknowledge the original source, and should respect relevant copyright conventions and permission requirements. If in doubt, authors should seek permission from the original publisher before republishing any work.
  • Avoid fragmenting research to maximise the number of articles submitted (also known as ‘salami publishing’) to a journal, and the submission of the same research to multiple books/journals or other publication media (also known as parallel publishing). Both these practices seriously undermine the innovative nature of research findings.
 
 

5.3 Human/animal rights

AOSIS promotes ethical and responsible research practices:
  • Authors should provide evidence that research has adhered to national standards for research practices (in human and animal studies).
  • Authors should provide evidence that studies have been approved by relevant bodies, the relevant research ethics committee or institutional review board, e.g. institutional review board, research ethics committee, data and safety monitoring board, and regulatory authorities including those overseeing animal experiments.
  • If human participants were involved manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent of each.
  • If experimental animals were used the materials and methods (experimental procedures) section must clearly indicate that appropriate measures were taken to minimise pain or discomfort, and details of animal care should be provided.
  • Editors should encourage peer reviewers to consider ethical issues raised by the research they are reviewing.
  • Editors should request additional information from authors if they feel this is required.
  • Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been followed.
  • If a manuscript has been submitted from a country where there is no ethics committee, institutional review board, or similar review and approval, editors should use their own experience to judge whether the manuscripts should be published. If the decision is made to publish a manuscript under these circumstances, a short statement should be included to explain the situation.

Where individual human subjects or case studies are discussed, e.g. as in medicine, psychology, criminology, books/journals should protect confidentiality and should not permit publication of items that might upset or harm participants/subjects, or breach confidentiality of, for example, the doctor-patient relationship.
  • AOSIS will not publish individual information and identifiable images from patients/human subjects. We will also require explicit consent from any patients described in case studies or shown in photographs.
 
 

5.4 Respecting confidentiality

In most cases editors should only consider publishing information and images from individual participants/subjects or patients where the authors have obtained the individuals’ explicit consent. Exceptional cases may arise where gaining the individuals’ explicit consent is not possible but where publishing such information or image can be demonstrated to have a genuine public health interest. In cases like this, before taking any action, editors should seek and follow counsel from the book/journal owner, AOSIS and/or legal professionals.

In the case of technical images (for example, radiographs, micrographs), editors should ensure that all information that could identify the subject has been removed from the image.
 
 
 

5.5 Plagiarism and fabrication

Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else's work as his or her own. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from having an identical manuscript published in multiple books/journals, to 'salami-slicing', where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous manuscript.

Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut and pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in an AOSIS book/journal. However, minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier manuscript. AOSIS book/journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.

AOSIS is a member CrossCheck, an initiative to help editors verify the originality of submitted manuscripts. As part of this process selected submitted manuscripts are scanned and compared with the CrossCheck database.

If a case of plagiarism comes to light after a manuscript is published in an AOSIS book/journal, the book/journal will conduct a preliminary investigation. If plagiarism is found, the book/journal will contact the author's institute and funding agencies. A determination of misconduct will lead the AOSIS book/journal to publish a corrigendum linked to the original publication, with an explanation. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the manuscript may also be formally retracted.
 
 
 

5.6 Supplements/funded publications

In the case of journals that choose to publish supplements, special issues, sections, or similar materials that are funded by a third-party organisation, e.g. a company, society or charity – the supporter or sometimes sponsor, the content of funded items must align with the purpose of the journal. They must also include:
  • explicit declaration of conflicts of interest or absence thereof for all contributions, including those of authors, editors and co-editors;
  • explicit acknowledgement of any contributions (for example, editorial assistance) made by anyone other than named authors, including their affiliations;
  • description of the processes used to select, review and edit the content, especially the differences in this process (if any) from the journal's normal content selection and peer-review processes; and
  • details of the journal's affiliations and Editorial Board.

Journals that choose to publish supplements should appoint co-editors (including the individual who proposed the initial idea for the funded material and a second individual appointed by the journal) as standard procedure for all funded materials. This enables editorial decisions to be easily deputised, as should be the case when one editor is an author or is acknowledged as a contributor of a particular article, or when one editor is presented with manuscripts where their own interests may impair their ability to make an unbiased editorial decision.

A short statement explaining the process used to make editorial decisions must be included in the editorial of such an issue.

Journals should not permit funding organisations to make decisions beyond those about which publications they choose to fund and the extent of the funding. Decisions about the selection of authors and about the selection and editing of contents to be presented in funded publications should be made by the editor (or co-editors) of the funded publication.

AOSIS reserves the right not to publish any funded publication that does not comply with the requirements defined for the journal to which the manuscript or supplement has been submitted.
 

6. Preservation of published work

AOSIS is a member of Portico which preserves our published journal content in the Portico archive, to ensure that our content will be secure and available into the future.
 
 

7. Journal title transfer

AOSIS endorses the National Information Standards Organization Transfer Code of Practice. This means that we will use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that any journal transfers in which we are involved are consistent with the Code.

The full code is published and available at: http://www.uksg.org/sites/uksg.org/files/TRANSFER_Code_of_Practice_3%200_FINAL.pdf




 

Advertising Policy

This advertising policy forms part of the terms of use of our sites.

We believe that information is sensitive and unique in nature, thus requiring the highest ethical standards of publishing.

The purpose of our advertising and sponsorship policy is to clearly separate our editorial and commercial functions. Commercial functions include banner advertising, sponsored content, newsletter advertising and any other paid services that may be offered by any one of AOSIS’ product sites (herein referred to as “the site”) and AOSIS (Pty) Ltd (herein referred to as “the owner”).

The owner adheres to the following basic rules when placing advertising, sponsors’ logos or advertorial material of any kind:
  • The owner reserves the right to decide at all times when, where and what advertisement may be placed.
  • Acceptance of an advertisement or sponsorship by the owner should under no circumstances be understood as an endorsement of or support for the advertised or sponsored product/brand or the company manufacturing, distributing, marketing or otherwise associated with the product/brand.
  • The owner will strive to carry advertising and sponsorship material that complies with our high ethical and professional standards – including but not limited to matters of good taste, accuracy, public policy, sound practice, honesty, government regulation and South Africa’s constitutional requirements of non-discrimination. No advertising associated with harmful and/or indecent practices, such as firearms, ammunition, pornography, tobacco, gambling or alcohol may be carried.
  • All sponsored content (advertorial) will be clearly marked as such and may be positioned or presented in a way that distinguishes it from editorial content.
  • Banner advertisements are randomised on specified pages or within specific sections and particular positions or cycles cannot be guaranteed. The owner reserves the right to request a new size banner advertisement from the advertiser at any time for placement on the website in a new position.
  • No pop-up, video or audio advertising is permitted.
  • It is incumbent upon the advertiser to comply with local and international regulations regarding the advertising material to be published on the site.
  • The owner reserves the right to publish, reject, move or remove any advertisement or sponsors’ logo without first giving notice to the affected advertiser or sponsor. The owner specifically reserves the right to remove advertising and sponsorship material should such material contravene any of the rules here listed or in any way infringe on the integrity or good reputation of the site. We undertake to provide reasons for such decisions and to refund the advertiser for the remaining time if the advertisement is removed before the date agreed upon.

While the site and the owner strive to pre-empt and remove any advertising material that is illegal, harmful or otherwise objectionable, they disclaim any liability for any damages, direct or indirect, that may result from the use of any form of advertising on the site.

Our advertising policy is just one facet of our commitment to reliable and ethical information. Please also see our privacy, editorial and terms of use policies.

Competition T&C

These are the standard terms and conditions for competitions conducted or promoted by or in association with African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd, trading as AOSIS.

1. Your entry into the competition and/or your acceptance of a prize (in the event that you win a prize) constitutes your binding acceptance of the terms and conditions on behalf of yourself and any person with whom you may share a prize (in the event that you win a prize which is for you and one or more additional persons (“your partner”)).

2. To be eligible for the competition, participants or entrants must reside in the Republic of South Africa, unless otherwise stated.

3. The outcome of the competition is subject to the decision of the judge, photographer or organiser of the competition, whose decision is final, and no negotiations and or correspondence will be entered into after the fact.

4. The competition is not open to
4.1 directors, members, partners, agents, employees or consultants of AOSIS or any supplier of goods or services in connection with a competition; and
4.2 the spouse, life partner, business partner or associate, or the natural or adopted parent, child, or sibling, of any of the persons specified in 4.1 above.
 
5. Entrants under the age of 18 must obtain written permission from their parents or guardians before entering.

6. You may not participate in or win a competition if you have won a competition promoted by us within the past six months. You will be eligible to participate in a competition promoted by us after the expiry of six months after the date on which you won the last competition.

7. If you use a mobile phone for entry into the competition, the telephone calls or text messages you make will be charged at the prevailing rates, which may vary from time to time. "Free" minutes under a cell-phone contract do not apply.

8. It is your responsibility to ensure that your entry is received by us prior to the closure of the competition. Any entries which are not received by us prior to the closure of the competition will not be eligible to participate, regardless of the reason for the late entry. We and our affiliates are not responsible for any entries which are not received by us, whether timeously or at all, regardless of the cause thereof. Without limitation, we and our affiliates are not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer hardware or software failure or malfunction, traffic congestion (whether physical, or on the Internet, telephone lines or at any service provider, website or other device or medium), or any combination thereof, or any other technical or other problems.

9. We and our affiliates are not responsible for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer, mobile telephone or other device used by you to enter into, or obtain any materials related to, the competition.

10. It is your responsibility to ensure that any information which you provide to us is accurate, complete and up to date.

11. Any costs or expenses which you may incur other than in respect of those items specifically included in a prize are for your own account. AOSIS will not be responsible for any costs or expenses which you, or your partner (if applicable), incur during and for purposes of your entry into the competition and your acceptance and/or use of a prize.

12. We do not make any representations or give any warranties, whether expressly or implicitly, as to a prize, and in particular, but without limitation, make no representations and give no warranty that –
12.1. your entry or participation in the competition will necessarily result in you winning a prize;
12.2. a prize, or any aspect thereof, will meet your, or, if applicable, your partner’s, requirements, preferences, standards or expectations; or
12.3. a prize, or any aspect thereof, will be satisfactory, punctual, free from defects, safe or reliable.
 
13. We and our affiliates will not be responsible for any harm, damage, loss or claim relating to the provision of any element of a prize or any changes to a prize that may be made at any time.

14. Prizes are not transferable and may not be deferred, changed or exchanged for cash or any other item.

15. You may not win a prize if it is unlawful for us to supply such a prize to you. If you do win such a prize, you will forfeit it.

16. You must possess whatever documents and permissions that may be required in order to accept and use a prize, including, as regards international travel, a valid passport and all necessary visa and travel documentation, which documents and permissions it is your responsibility to obtain at your own cost, and which documents and permissions must remain valid in such minimum form and for such minimum period after the prize date as may be required by the relevant authorities.

17. The winners will be notified by means of the contact details provided to us. If we are, or a third party supplier is, unable to contact a winner within 30 days or if the winner is unable to collect the prize within 60 days, the winner will forfeit the prize and AOSIS reserves the right to re-draw a new winner under the same conditions.

18. In the event that you win a prize, you agree to the publication of your name and to appear in person in the electronic media and the print media, and you agree, within reason, to endorse, promote or advertise our goods or services, for which no fee will be payable.

19. We may require you to provide us with such additional information as we may reasonably require in order to process and facilitate your acceptance and/or use of a prize.

20. In the event that you win a prize provided by a third party supplier, the supplier will contact you to arrange the collection thereof. In this regard you must collect the prize at the time and date arranged with the supplier of the prize. All correspondence regarding the prize must be directed to the supplier of the prize. AOSIS will not be responsible for any further correspondence, harm, damage, loss or claim relating to the provision of any element of the prize.

21. We and our third party suppliers, as the case may be, reserve the right to vary, postpone, suspend or cancel the competition and any prizes, or any aspect thereof, without notice at any time, for any reason which we deem necessary. In the event of such variation, postponement, suspension or cancellation, you agree to waive any rights, interests and expectations that you may have in terms of this competition and acknowledge that you will have no recourse against us, our affiliates and third-party suppliers.

22. You agree that your participation in the competition, and your acceptance and/or use of a prize, or any aspect thereof, is at your own risk.

23. We and our affiliates will not be responsible and disclaim all liability for any loss, liability, injury, expense or damage (whether direct, indirect, incidental, punitive or consequential) of any nature, whether arising from negligence or any other cause, which is suffered by your participation in the competition or the acceptance and/or use by you, or your partner (if applicable), of any prize, or by any action taken by us or any of our affiliates in accordance with the terms and conditions.

24. You, and in the event of your death, your family, dependants, heirs, assignees or any other beneficiaries of your estate, indemnify and hold us and our affiliates non-liable for any claim by you, or your partner (if applicable) (whether direct, indirect, incidental, punitive or consequential) of any nature, whether arising from negligence or any other cause, relating to any injury, loss, liability, expense and/or damage which you may suffer, howsoever arising, in relation to your entry into this competition and/or acceptance and/or use by you of a prize.

25. You acknowledge that the acceptance and use of a prize is subject to the proviso that –
25.1. all of the terms and conditions will apply to both you and your partner (if applicable), and you will ensure that your partner agrees to be bound and complies, and will continue to comply, therewith;
25.2. you will take full responsibility for your partner;
25.3. you indemnify and hold us and our affiliates devoid of liability for any claim by your partner or any third party in the event that your partner suffers any loss or damage pursuant to your partner’s acceptance and/or use of a prize;
25.4. any minor will be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
 
26. If you fail or if your partner (if applicable) fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions, then without prejudice to any other remedy which we may have –
26.1. you will be automatically disqualified and you will forfeit the prize/s (in the event that you have already won a prize);
26.2. you will pay us for any loss or damage incurred by us directly or indirectly as a result of your (or, if applicable, your partner's) non-compliance, including all of our legal costs (including attorney and own client costs) which we may incur in taking any steps pursuant to your (or your partner’s) non-compliance; and
26.3. you indemnify and hold us and our affiliates devoid of any liability for any claim by any person, (whether direct, indirect, incidental, punitive or consequential) of any nature, whether arising from negligence or any other cause, relating to any death, injury, loss and/or damage which may be suffered howsoever arising in relation to your failure (or that of your partner, if applicable) to comply therewith.
 
27. For purposes hereof, "affiliate" means our partners, co-promoters and sponsors of this competition, our subsidiaries, our and their subsidiaries and respective holding companies, the subsidiaries of their holding companies, and our and their directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives.

28. These terms and conditions will be construed, interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of contract and dispute resolution in the Republic of South Africa.

29. AOSIS and the judges' decision on any matter concerning the competition and/or arising out of these terms and conditions is final and binding on you, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Email Disclaimer

This email and all attachments to it may contain confidential information and is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, printing, forwarding or copying of this email is strictly prohibited. Email transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or without errors as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which may arise as a result of email transmission. If the email was received in error, erase all copies and return it to the sender.